Tapestry, from 90.3 WBHM

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April 2011...

Actor's Equity

As children, most of us spend time pretending. We dream up elaborate scenarios, populate them with unique characters and escape into fictional worlds. Some of us grow up hoping to make a career out of making believe.

In the United States, nearly 57-thousand people list "actor" as their main occupation, even though many of them spend more time waiting tables, working retail, and doing other jobs to make ends meet.

Acting is a tough profession. There are long periods of unemployment and intense competition for roles. But for stage actors, more doors start opening once an actor gets his or her Equity Card. It's not easy to get, but as WBHM's Tanya Ott reports students at the Alabama School of Fine Arts now have a chance.

Equity for Young Actors

Moonlight on the Mountain

There's good chance you're listening to Tapestry at work. Imagine going to work and instead of hearing music or talk radio, you were serenaded by one of the greatest novels ever written. That's exactly what happened with Cuban cigar makers in Tampa in the 1920s. The story of these workers is told in a Pulitzer Prize winning play that hits the stage this month in Birmingham. WBHM's Bradley George reports.

Anna in the Tropics...

Virgil Trucks

With the baseball season beginning this week, we want to take you back 70 years and introduce you to Birmingham native Virgil "Fire" Oliver Trucks. He pitched mostly for the Detroit Tigers in the 1940's and 50's in an era where Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle dominated the game. Trucks is not a household name, but he's one of only a hand full of players to throw two no-hitters in a single season. WBHM's Michael Krall recently visited Trucks at his home just south of Birmingham. As he found out...it's a career filled with accomplishments, oddities, and being in the right place at the right time...

Virgil Trucks Remembers..

More | Virgil Trucks' Wikipedia entry.

More | Virgil Trucks' career statistics.

Music is a big part of the baseball experience, like singing along when the organ plays "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." But in many major league ballparks, technology has replaced that tradition - the organist is gone, and fans sing to a recording. At Turner Field - home of the Atlanta Braves - live organ music is making a comeback - with a 21st Century twist. Philip Graitcer has this story.

Atlanta Braves Organist...

Three to See logo

It's finally spring, and there are lots of thing to do outdoors. But if you want to take a little break from all of the pollen, here are a few indoor activities happening in April. Intern Allison Shackelford has these suggestions for this month's Three to See.

Three events going on around town you shouldn't miss...

This April marks one year since an explosion killed 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia. It's a stark reminder of the dangers of that industry. April also brings the 100th anniversary Alabama's worst mining disaster. 128 men died at the Banner Mine in northwest Jefferson County. Almost all of them were were African American convicts the coal company had leased from the state for labor. University of Alabama Historian David Durham spoke with WBHM's Andrew Yeager about what happened that day - April 8, 1911.

Banner Mine Disaster...

The members of Birmingham indie punk band Wildcat Revival have engaged in a lot of introspection lately. Nathan Barrett and Trent Thomas say they continue to reinvent the band, looking for new themes to explore and new genres to tap. This tune is called "Unless No Clues is a Clue."(AUDIO MONTAGE)


StoryCorps is an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. Each month on Tapestry we'll bring you stories from Alabamians.

Tom Gordon interviews his friend, chef Franklin Biggs. They talk about food as an art form and Biggs talks about how his love of food affects others....

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This interview was recorded by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM's Michael Krall.

In 1833, President Andrew Jackson sent troops to Alabama to protect Native American lands from invading white settlers. Governor John Gayle responded by forming a state militia to oppose federal interference in Alabama's affairs. That assertion of state's rights predates George Wallace's stand in the schoolhouse door by 130 years. Author Allen Tullos new book "Alabama Getaway" is full of similar examples of defiance. Tullos says it's an anti-government attitude that has stunted the state's development. Tullos says the state should consider a new nickname to replace 'Sweet Home Alabama.'

Allen Tullos Interview...

Tapestry is produce by Bradley George and Michael 'Wishes He Were Marcel Marceau' Krall. This month, we had help from Philip Graitcer, Tanya Ott, Allison Shackleford, and Andrew Yeager. We always like to hear your feedback on the show, or if you have suggestions for a story. If you have questions or comments about this month's show, tapestry@wbhm.org is our email address. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. I'm Greg Bass and we'll see you next month.